Jefferson County Online
A part of the IAGenWeb and USGenWeb Projects
Libertyville Methodist Church

Jefferson County Deed Book C, Page 367

John JEWETT and wife to M.E. Church. Deed dated Jan. 3, 1846, filed Jan. 18, 1846. Pt. SE¼ of NW¼ Sec. 18-71-10. (1875 Map shows church south of Libertyville.)

This indenture made 3rd Jan. 1846 between John JEWETT and Sophronia his wife, Jefferson County, Territory of Iowa, and William A. McCLAIN, Samuel KIRKPATRICK, William DONELSON, James HULL (sic - HALL), William BROWN, William CLARRIDGE, Joseph B. McCLAIN, Thomas PRATHER, and Silas YOUNG, Trustees.... for $8.75.... convey (to above men) a part of SE¼ of NW¼ of Sec. 18, Twp. 71, R.10, commencing at NE Corner.... four acres of land.... Erect and build a house of worship and a Burial Ground for members of M.E. Church in U.S.A....


Jefferson County Deed Book E, Page 353.

An abstract of the Colony, now Libertyville, Society; Philadelphia, now Birmingham, Circuit; Rock River, now Iowa, Conference.

In December in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty was organized at the Colony, now the Town of Libertyville, Jefferson County, Iowa, a religious society known as the Colony, now Libertyville, society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia (now Birmingham) Circuit, Rock River (now Iowa) Conference. The officers of said society, Henry SLIMMER, Presiding Elder; Joel ARRINGTON, Preacher in Charge; and Seth HAYS, Class Leader. The officers of said society at the present time are Joseph BROOKS, Preacher in Charge; James WISHARD, Local Preacher; James HALL, exhorter; William CLARRIDGE, Circuit Steward; William McCLAIN, William CLARRIDGE, Class Leaders.

A true abstract of the organization of said society given under our hands this fifteenth day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight.

Joseph BROOKS, Preacher in Charge
James WISHARD, Local Preacher
James HALL, Exhorter
William CLARRIDGE, Steward
William A. McCLAIN, Class Leader

Filed April 17 1848
Anson Ford, Recorder


Jefferson County Deed Book M, Page 589

William BOLWELL and wife, deed to Methodist Episcopal Church, recorded Jan 1 1856.... We, William BOLWELL and Elizabeth BOLWELL, Jefferson County, State of Iowa.... for one hundred dollars convey to William VAUGHT, John STANSBURY, Peter SLIMMER and James P. REYNOLDS as Trustees.... for use of M.E. Church, Libertyville Circuit at Libertyville, Jefferson County, Iowa, the following real estate.... in Libertyville, Lot No. 2 and Lot No. 7 in Ann E. Davis first addition and in Block No. One.
Dated 31 Dec. 1855.

Elizabeth BOLWELL


Jefferson County Deed Book P, Page 237

Articles of Association, M.E. Church, Libertyville.... Rev. John D. WALKER, William VAUGHT, Peter SLIMMER, L. F. SURLES, John HAYDEN, S. P. MAJORS and John BIRDSELL.... to purchase and hold church property, such as a parsonage or preacher house.... Dated 9 March 1857, recorded 5 May 1857....


Jefferson County Deed Book P, Page 231

Dated 9 Apr. 1857, recorded 15 May 1857. C. C. COLLINS and Mary A. COLLINS, to Peter SLIMMER, John D. WALKER, William VAUGHT, John HAYDEN, Peter WALKER, Johnson BIRDSELL, and Sterling P. MAJORS, Trustees M.E. Church, Jefferson County, State of Iowa.... Lot No. 2 in Block No. One in Town of Libertyville, Old Plat....



"The Fairfield Ledger"
March 25, 1869
Page 3, Column 3

Rural Retreat, Iowa.

Messrs. Editors:--Your Libertyville correspondent N, seems to think that the citizens of Des Moines township have been doing considerable in the way of building houses, barns, churches, &c., during the past year. Well, we think it time they were stirring their stumps a little, for they have been rather behind in these matters. Now, we of Liberty township do not pretend to boast of many fine palatial residences, with suburban finish and splendid porticos, nevertheless we have not been idle during the past year.

Some very excellent improvements have been made. Mr. HANEY, near Whitfield, has put up a good barn of fine proportions, a credit to any community. Mr. S. WATKINS, East of Libertyville, has also put an excellent barn on a good stone foundation, built of good material and in a neat and attractive style. On the road leading from Libertyville to Fairfield, Mr. George BROWN has built a cozy little barn, quite a credit to any little farm. On the same road Mr. Peter SLIMMER has made some substantial improvements on his barn by putting it under a new roof. A little further on, Mr. John FAMULENER has done a good work for himself, by putting an addition to his barn, already quite large, and putting a new roof on it and new siding on the front, which gives to it quite an improved appearance. Jonathan FAMULENER, near by, has built for himself a comfortable frame house, about 16x30, story and a half. Mr. E. W. WARNER, East of Libertyville, has given his house some substantial improvement, which adds greatly to its appearance and comfort. Libertyville has not been wholly dead nor altogether asleep. Mr. WINN, the genius loci, our ever ready and always at home blacksmith, has enlarged his dwelling house, by raising the roof and covering anew, which gives it a half story attic, and a much improved and more comfortable appearance.-- Mr. Jacob FRY is making arrangements to rebuild his saw mill, destroyed some time since by fire. The Methodists are making arrangements to build a new house of worship in Libertyville during the coming summer, for which they have a good and reliable subscription amounting to some $1,600.

Another item or two of a prospective character. Mr. MOSS and Mr. MANNING are now at work building for themselves barns which, when done, will be of no mean character or trifling dimensions.

Now, Mrssrs. Editors, we are not much in the habit of boasting of what we do in Liberty township. You will therefore indulge us while we say, Hurrah for us!   H.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
November 25, 1869
Page 3, Column 1

METHODISTICAL.--A friend, who rightfully presumes that every local matter coming within the range of the circulation of our paper, is esteemed by us of interest to our many patrons, sends us an account of the Methodist meetings which closed at Libertyville on the 16th inst. The meetings continued two weeks and the exercises were mainly conducted by Rev. A. LAUBACH, the minister on that circuit. The meetings commenced with the dedication of the new Methodist Episcopal Church. During the continuance of the meetings there were over 80 conversions and accessions to the Church. More than 30 of these were heads of families. The others were generally grown young men and women. The old membership consisted of only about thirty-five. The interest continues, although the meetings are closed for the present on account of other duties of the pastor.

The same minister also held meetings at Independence ("Stumptown") with considerable success and raised means to erect a church building at that place, the materials for which are already purchased and on the ground.

We are glad to receive such items, and hope to be favored with many of them.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Wednesday, July 31, 1901
Page 3, Column 6



Editors Ledger: The old M.E. church is being rapidly torn down to make way for a new building; it will be modern in its style of architecture, and it is planned for comfort and convenience and the seating capacity will be much larger; the design is to hasten the work as rapidly as possible. ...


"Jefferson County Republican"
September 1, 1911

[Note: This is part of a column of various news items.]

East Libertyville, Iowa.

....We can also boast of having all the churches in town, the M. E., Adventist, and Presbyterian, and we have two preachers who put in almost all their time pitching horse shoes, playing croquet and going to ball games....


"Jefferson County Republican"
December 8, 1911
Page 8, Column 3

[Note: This is part of a column of various news items.]


... Rev. >Russell commenced revival meetings at the Mt. Zion church Sunday night. ...

...The Ladies' Aid of the M. E. church cleared about $24 at their supper Saturday night. ...



(From a Cook Book published about 1949 by the Libertyville Methodist Ladies. Contributed by Mrs. Raymond Swanson of Fairfield.)

In order to give you the history of the Libertyville Methodist Church, we must go back into the history of Iowa and Jefferson County. The year 1832 is really the beginning of Iowa's history. Prior to that date the land we know as Iowa was the domain of the Indians. Following the defeat of Black Hawk, the famous Sac chief, a treaty was concluded by the United States and the Winnebagos, Sacs and Foxes, by which the United States acquired six million acres of land west of the Mississippi. This territory was opened June 1, 1833 and there was an immediate rush of settlers. In 1837 only the part of Jefferson County lying east of the Indian boundary was open to settlement. This line entered Jefferson County at a point on the south county line which is directly south of Libertyville; ran northeast crossing Cedar Creek near the present Rock Island Railroad bridge, then in a straight line northeast passing a little west of Fairfield and leaving the county at a point just west of the town of Old Pleasant Plain.

The earliest of our settlers came to the east and south parts of the county, along the water courses and in the timber country.

In 1836 there were estimated to be at least sixty-nine persons, men, women and children residents, in the county. Among family names were: COOP, LANMAN, WRIGHT, BLAKELY, STOUT, LEMON, MITCHELL, WALKER, LAMBIRTH, HUFF, BETTERTON, SCHWARTZ and WARNER.

In 1838 a group of families crowded into the BETTERTON cabin and discussed plans far into the night for building a school and church. The first school in Liberty township was a log cabin; the first teacher, John BECK. It was used on Sunday as a church with the first minister, John CAMERON, a Methodist. This first school and church was located on the farm now owned by Frank LYONS.

A few years passed by and the pioneers gave their settlement the name of Libertyville on July 4, 1842. One hundred years later in 1942, the residents, led by Mayor Bliss HALL, celebrated the centennial.

In 1846 "Uncle Billie" CLARRIDGE, a circuit preacher, dedicated a newly built log cabin church erected on the EYESTONE property. In 1851 William VAUGHT, grandfather of Maggie COPELAND, gave the bell that is still in use in 1949. In 1859 the Burlington Railroad was built through Libertyville. In 1901 the present church was built. An annex to the church was built in recent years making a Sunday School room and kitchen. Since then a basement has been added. (Note: The church bell is still there in 1971.)

A record of pastors of the Libertyville Methodist Church, beginning as far back as 1879 lists the following: Rev. Charley SHEPHERD, ARMACOST, PIKE, J. Fletcher ROBERTSON, 1882, George BARBER, H. C. MILLICE, CRUTHERS, DOUD, EYESTONE, Charley RICHARDSON, ROLLINGSON, CALDWELL, MINEAR, DRUSE, THORNLEY, J. C. BEHRENS, Paul McBETH, Stodgehill BEACH, W. N. POTTER, MAJORS, COGGESHALL, SMITH, John LATHROP, Clyde TEEL, Clifford OTT and the present pastor, L. M. KIRBY. Reverend KIRBY serves both the Libertyville Methodist Church and the Mt. Zion Methodist Church. The old parsonage adjacent to the church was sold and a modern improved parsonage was purchased in 1948. It is located about four blocks west of the church on the south side of the street.

This page was created on 27 November 2012 and is copyrighted. This page and/or its linked data may be copied and used for personal purposes but can not be republished nor used for commercial purposes without the author's written permission.

I am the County Coordinator and the Webmaster, the one who is responsible for the IAGenWeb project for Jefferson County, Iowa. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to this database or if you note any problems with these pages.

Return to the Churches Index Page

Return to the Jefferson County Main Page